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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Peggy Noonan
Peggy Noonan has given a little free advice to the President about "war talk" and the fears of the American public. It would be a good idea to listen. As much as President bush gets hammered on going to war, and as much as he has to defend it day in and day out, it would be easy for the public to get the sense that he wants to be at war. That, "as long as George Bush is president, we're going to be fighting wars." That probably doesn't sit well with some people. Noonan:
What I wrote about a few weeks ago was my fear that the American people have grown or are growing tired of the heightened drama of the times.
She's not saying we should leave Iraq and crawl into a shell, but that Bush should try to ease their fears.
When you are president and you are doing hard things in history like making war, and you are doing it in the jingle-jangle of the modern media environment, you have a kind of moral responsibility to make it clear that you hate war, really hate it, and love peace.

This is delicate. A leader cannot seem ambivalent about crucial actions and decisions, and he can't seem so weighed down by the facts and implications of those decisions that people begin to wonder if he's lost his fight. There's a reason people like a happy warrior. A happy warrior tends to be a winning warrior. And yet. In the world we live in a leader must seem almost palpably yearning for life and peace even as he makes tough decisions that will soon deny either or both to some.
Nobody 'feels' better than Peggy Noonan, so she's probably right. I hope the President's people listen.

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